Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rancid, Sick Of It All and Bloodclot - Live @ Irving Plaza 8.13

Things have come a long way in NYC for Rancid. Fifteen years ago they were the darlings of the squatter set. Twelve years ago they went major label and all the punks were calling them sell-outs and giving Lars beatdowns onstage at Coney Island High. Now they have their own label and are selling out five nights at Irving without a record out. I hear it's coming out soon on Hellcat, but it's nice to see the gents having staying power above and beyond the Warped Tour set.

This was the first night of the run and arguably the most NYHC of the shows, with John Joseph and his band of old hardcore dudes playing under the Bloodclot moniker and the mighty Sick Of It All starting things off. I missed all but the last song of Bloodclot, but rest assured it sounded like JJ on the mike. If you haven't picked up a copy of John's book Evolution Of A Cro-Magnon, you really need to. I picked it up initially because JJ's a great guy, but was really shocked at how well-done it is. It's not all stories about him beefing with Harley or Cappo (although Parris is savaged fairly consistently) but some touching stories about his fucked-up childhood as well as a comprehensive recollection of his wayward days raising Hell on the L.E.S. As you might expect, no punches are pulled, but he's as hard on himself as he is anybody else in the book. Evolution really is a well-done work from a real New Yorker that has been there. Buy a copy here or check the links at the bottom.

No book for them as yet, but the Alleyway Crew are still kicking ass and taking names as they approach their 25th year. Lou's back seems to be holding up fine and the boys are kicking a hell of a lot of ass for a bunch of old guys from Queens. I could make snarky comments about Craig's hair or the fact that Armand looks more and more like Vinnie Paul every year, but I think I'm above that now. That said, Armand is pulverizing the kit these days, I'm beginning to think that Pete spends so much time in the air from the residual drumkit seismic tremors. It was their typical opening set: some new stuff, a Wall Of Death, Scratch The Surface. Good times, plus some kid had come all the way from Russia to see them and Louie gave a nice little shout out. Good set, great guys. If you're still dying to get a piece of the Core, I hear Lou will be appearing with the Madball and the Murphy's Law during their sets later on in the week. All you old guys rest up now!

Rancid came out pretty quickly after SOIA to a bunch of excited youngsters and sweaty exhausted old dudes. Everybody on the team looks healthy post-divorces and cancer scares and the kid from The Used who's playing drums for them now seems to be upping the enthusiasm level a whole bunch. He really seems to be excited to be in the Rancid and I'm pleased to find that even I can't begrudge a kid being stoked to join his favorite band. He does look uncannily like a Matt Freeman mini-me, but I'm sure that just makes for a tighter rhythm section. And DAMN if Freeman isn't killing it. Not like anyone is surprised, but his solo on 999 was even more terrifying than normal. It was a very And Out Comes The Wolves-centric set for what I saw, but everything they played was eaten up the rabid youth. I'd leave the Op Ivy songs out of the set, or at least trot Jesse out on the regular, but that's just me. They are well done (and their songs, for chrissakes) but I'm beginning to think more and more of the young people think that Knowledge is a Green Day cover. Sigh!

I'm as surprised as anyone that I was at a Rancid show in 2008, but it was a pretty damn good time. Thanks to E Warz for the company. Alleyway are just great. They really make me proud to be a New Yorker. Rancid are a good time, but someone either needs to make Tim play that damn guitar or hold it away from the monitors. My ears are still fucking ringing. Rancid are at Irving through Sunday. It's way sold out, but they seem to be doing a brisk business out front, so try your luck.

Rancid web presence
Rancid MySpace
Hellcat Records

Sick Of It All web presence
Sick Of It All MySpace
Abacus Records

Bloodclot web presence
Bloodclot MySpace

The Evolution Of A Cro-Magnon book


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